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Instead of suing her attacker, a woman is suing Match.com after she was stabbed by a man she'd met online.
Mary Kay Beckman seeks to hold the dating website responsible for the suffering she endured in a brutal attack in 2011. Her attacker was sent to prison.
Beckman is suing Match.com for $10 million, alleging negligence, negligent misrepresentation, deceptive trade, failure to warn, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Mary Kay Beckman's Match.com lawsuit blames the company for failing to warn her of the risks of meeting psychos online and making her believe that she would find a "stable and loving relationship" by using Match.com.
Beckman's attacker is no longer around, having died in prison where he was serving 28 to 70 years for the attack. Shortly after attacking Beckman, Wade Mitchell Ridley also allegedly stabbed and killed an ex-girlfriend in Arizona, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ridley and Beckman met through Match.com. After dating for 10 days, she ended the relationship, according to her lawsuit. He began threatening her shortly thereafter.
On Jan. 21, 2011, Ridley allegedly hid in Beckman's garage and stabbed her until the knife broke. He then stomped and kicked her until she "stopped making the gurgling noise," Courthouse News Service reports. A neighbor eventually found Beckman, and she was taken to the hospital.
A horrendous ordeal, but is her lawsuit viable? In a statement, Match.com called the suit "absurd," and suggested it should not be held responsible for the actions of a "sick, twisted individual with no prior criminal record."
Full criminal background checks aren't an industry norm in the online dating world, reports CNN. Match.com's online terms of service don't mention them, though they do prohibit felons and registered sex offenders.
If background checks were an industry norm, then Match.com could potentially be held to a higher standard of care for failure to observe such protocol. But as with any dating website, meeting individuals in person after meeting them online comes with a risk -- one that Internet users arguably assume in their digital search for love.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.